Paps of Jura from Port Askaig, Islay

Today was characterised by unusual brilliant sunshine and blue skies. We commenced the day by departing our lodgings in Bowmore  for a tour which featured the following:

Bowmore Harbour, Islay

Bowmore Main Street

First, a short drive to Port Ellen passing extensive peat cuttings en-route plus a large bull of the Highland Cattle breed. At Port Ellen we drove past the maltings and the old (defunct) Port Ellen Distillery.

Peat Cuttings, Islay, Scotland

Next, we returned via Bowmore to Caol Ila Distillery, near Port Askaig. Here guests joined the ‘Chocolate and Malts’ tour which lasted about one hour. Caol Ila is the largest distillery on Islay with output of about 6.5m litres p.a. After this we went into Port Askaig for a light lunch at a pub.

Caol Ila Malts, islay

Caol Ila Distillery, Islay, Scotland

Next, we moved on to Kilchoman Distillery, the youngest-and smallest- distillery on Islay with output of about 150k litres p.a.Here we joined the Premium Tour and Tasting which took us through the malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and bottling processes. Kilchoman is based on a working farm from which barley for malting is sourced.

Tour Guide at Kilchoman Distillery, Islay

Single Malts at Kilchoman Distillery, Islay

Whisky Stills at Kilchoman Distillery, Islay

Barley for malting at Kilchoman Distillery

Bottling plant at Kilchoman Distillery

Next, we went to Finlaggan, an ancient site which was occupied as far back as the Bronze Age but was famous for being the power base of the ‘Lords of the Isles’, a regional fiefdom with Clan Donald at the heart, which was active between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Finlaggan, Islay, Scotland

Finlaggan, Islay, Scotland

After concluding our visit to Finlaggan we returned to our lodgings in Bowmore.

In course of our travels today we encountered numerous sheep and cattle plus bird life which included a heron and birds of prey, possibly buzzards.

Tomorrow, we visit Laphroaig and other sites.

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